Unlimited Data? What a Ripoff.

“You probably don’t need as much data as you think.”

I just got my twelfth Sprint bill, which means it’s been a whole year since I purchased my smart phone. I did a ton of research before I made the jump and I made my selection accordingly. My phone is the Galaxy S version of the Samsung Epic 4G with service from Sprint.

I chose the phone over other options for one reason. My fingers are pretty large – I have a hard time forming legitimate words with the on-screen keyboards on most smart phones and the Galaxy S has a slide out keyboard with large buttons. It was an easy choice since there’s not much competition on this feature. I did favor the HTC Evo over the Epic 4g but just had to have the keyboard.

The choice for Sprint service, however, was not as easy. I studied data plans and service providers for many hours before I decided to use them. My decision was based primarily on their “Unlimited Data” advertisement. The plan costs a bit more than the competition, but I had a good feeling that I was going to use some serious data, and I was right. I use A LOT of data.

At least I thought.

I am almost continuously streaming data into and out of my phone. I listen to streaming music, watch YouTube, browse websites, get hundreds of emails constantly, and use my WordPress photo uploading app which sends every photo I take to my website. Those photos are about 2MB each and I take a lot of them. Lastly, I use my phone to tether Internet to my laptop almost every day.

So I figured out the “unlimited data” “scam” as I was actually browsing the bill for the first time in a year. I’ve only actually used just over 1GB of data all month. I cannot even rationalize how someone could possibly bust a 2GB plan with the competition, except for one reason. The competition’s Internet connection is FASTER. Sprint’s 3g/4g is pretty slow compared to the competition.

There’s another year left on my contract. After it’s done, I’ll be switching back to the competition with a 2GB data plan. It’ll cost me a bit less and have a faster connection. My advice to you if you’re in the market for a new plan is this: You probably don’t need as much data as you think you do.

The Greatest Creation of My Life | Week 12

We are now a few days into week 12, which means the second trimester is officially underway! Coincidentally, Tina and I celebrated our one-year anniversary on the same day. It’s been a very happy week for us. Tina visited the doctor on Wednesday (for the first time without me)  and got a few updated ultrasound photos… It’s absolutely mind-blowing how much the baby grows in only a week!

When we first found out about the pregnancy, we decided only to tell our immediate families and that we would wait until at least the second trimester before spreading the news. That time is almost here but we have a few more people to personally notify. All this writing I’ve been doing and no one has been able to read it yet…I can’t wait to unlock the articles!

We’ve selected a definite girl name and we are discussing a few solid options for a boy name. We are going to keep the names private until the birth, just in case.

So the scary part of the pregnancy is over. Now we’re in for three months of easy life followed by three months of discomfort and apprehension. One thing is for sure – six months from now, life will never be the same!

Life’s Little Curveballs

Life’s little curve balls usually bring big changes for me. I am not so good at letting life take it’s course naturally, much to Tina’s dismay on most days.

I need a plan. I need to know exactly what I’m supposed to be doing to reach my next goal. So I think, long and hard usually. Next I form the perfect plan – a series of actions and expected reactions topped off with a healthy dose of confidence.  Then, I implement those plans so incredibly well that I impress myself every single time. Don’t get me wrong, I usually think things are getting screwed-up and about to come crashing down, but then my plan typically works out. Until July, I’ve only passively been searching for a job in Florida. I’ve been strategically placing pawns on the board in preparation for a checkmate. Over the past month I decided that the pieces were placed properly to get me into a real job. Checkmate.

So now I am working my dream job. I’m still a code ninja, wrestling object-oriented syntax and WordPress actions daily. I’m just able to do it in an actual office building surrounded by other actual human beings. Who knew they existed? I also have the added benefit of an enormous steady salary, a schedule that allows sleep, and a whole slew of insurance benefits. What the heck does “profit-sharing” mean, anyways? I’m used to penny-pinching and price-comparing.

And now I’m left with the same question I’ve faced many times before. What should I to do with this blog, now? It felt great to purge my portfolio and all that other business crap that was littered about the site. I think I have it figured out though. I have a plan.

Life's little curveballs
Life’s little curveballs

The Greatest Creation of My Life | Weeks 8-11

Weeks eight and nine were fairly uneventful. Tina was still experiencing moderate morning sickness and general lethargy but was otherwise normal.

Week 10 was a milestone because we visited the doctor for her first trans-abdominal ultrasound. It was quick, painless, and revealed that our baby has a face and a normal heartbeat! During week ten, Tina seemed to be feeling just a tiny bit more like her old self, which is almost right on schedule with what all of the literature describes.

Week eleven has also been very uneventful for Tina. I, however, became a full-time employee of a very successful web publishing company this week! This has been exciting for me, as it’s allowing me to take my career out of the freelance market and into the professional world. As for the family, I’ll just say that I’m making major money, which will allow Tina to take an early retirement in February when the baby comes. I know she’s excited now, but I also know she loves her job and will in fact miss working.

Tina and I are anticipating the 12 week mark, which will be the official start of the second trimester. Hopefully she will feel more like her old self for a period before things get more difficult.

Also, it’s worth noting, Tina has been allowing me to take a weekly picture of her belly to track “the bump”. So far, there has been no significant change.

Next weeks schedule: Genetic testing, another ultrasound, and the beginning of the second trimester. Wish us luck…Cheers!

Baby has a face
Baby has a face!

The Greatest Creation of My Life | Week 7

Yesterday, we went to the baby-doc for the second time. We heard our baby’s heartbeat for the first time! A strong audibe heartbeat greatly reduces the chances of miscarriage, so Tina and I are very happy and excited. We also got a very clear picture of the baby up close, and it’s no longer a black and white blob – it actually slightly resembles a very tiny baby! The reality has set in and we’re starting to merge into a pregnancy routine this week. We’re eating much healthier meals and Tina is fighting constant nausea. All of the typical signs of pregnancy have shown up, but Tina is handling it amazingly well. Man, I love that girl!

So now it’s happy times for us! We’re a lot less worried and apprehensive of the next doctor visit which will be a month from now. Next time they’ll do genetic testing and another ultrasound. Then the real fun of pregnancy will begin 🙂 But I am excited!

Baby has a nice strong heartbeat!
Baby has a nice strong heartbeat!

The Greatest Creation of My Life | Week 6

It’s been an exciting and emotional week for Tina and I. We’re privately celebrating but being cautiously optimistic since it is so early. We visited the baby-doc on Tuesday for an initial pregnancy screening and everything looks good so far. We got our first picture from an ultrasound. It doesn’t show much but it’s proof that something’s there! The doc prescribed some shockingly-expensive prenatal vitamins and instructed us to return next week for a checkup.

After the doctor’s visit, we went to the library and checked out every book on the subject we could find. We’ve got some reading to do. My choice – “Pregnancy for Dad’s for Dummies”. I’m no dummy, but this book does have some great information.

Keep your fingers crossed, next week our baby should have an audible heartbeat!

Our first look at our baby
Our first look at our baby